LOCATING LOCAL FISHING KNOWLEDGE
It doesn’t matter if you are a raw beginner or a seasoned expert, whenever you intend to fish a new location for the very first time, the most important step you can take is to track down some local knowledge about the recent fishing conditions.
Finding out what the fish have been feeding on and where they have been caught gives you a big foot in the door on new water. It can also save you a lot of your precious weekend or holiday time by allowing you to concentrate on the current hotspot.
Even if you have been to the location before, as we all know things can change rapidly when it comes to fishing. Water levels rise and fall, insect hatches come and go and bait or lure preferences can vary in the blink of an eye. If someone else has already worked out what the fish are showing a preference for at the moment, why wouldn’t you want to know about it,
BEFORE YOU HEAD OFF
Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to get a bit of local knowledge, even if you live on the other side of the country from your intended fishing destination. Simply go online and use good old Google to track down information that might help you in your quest.
Depending on where you are going, this could include anything from local fishing reports to fishing competition or tournament results or even just the recent weather conditions. At the very least, knowing if you are likely to be facing extremely high and dirty or super low and clear water conditions will let you pack the sort of gear that’s going to be most suitable.
I really like to trawl through the tournament reports. Generally speaking, tournament anglers tend to be amongst the keenest fishos on the planet and when a large group of them get together on a lake or estuary, it generally doesn’t take them long to figure out what’s working best. They also like to spell out in detail the lures and techniques they used (as many are sponsored), so there is lots of intelligence to be gathered by sifting through their reports.
TALK TO THE LOCALS
Once you get to your destination, it’s always best to get the up to the minute info by talking to a local. That could be the owner of your accommodation, the person who lives nearby or even someone you met at the pub. While you never know who might provide that little gem of info, generally speaking, the best place to find someone in the know is the local fishing tackle outlet.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a dedicated fishing store. In country areas, fishing tackle is often sold from petrol stations, general stores and even newsagents. If you are prepared to go in and have a friendly yarn with the person behind the counter, you never know what you might find out.
By way of example, on our recent trip to Tasmania, we fished a number of lakes in the central highlands without much success. It wasn’t until I happened to buy a couple of Tassie Devils from the local service station that the guy behind the counter mentioned Woods lake was currently fishing exceptionally well. Of course, we shot out there that afternoon and enjoyed the best fishing of the trip. As I was fly fishing most of the time in Tassie, I didn’t really need those lures there and then but they more than paid for themselves in terms of our results.
GET ADVICE FROM A LOCAL BAIT SUPPLIER
The above example also illustrates another very important point. In my experience, the best way to get the most reliable info is to spend a bit of money on some of that fishing gear. Even if you don’t need them, buying a couple of the recommended lures or flies or a packet of bait will show the salesperson that you aren’t a know-it-all from the big city and that you are willing to listen to their advice. So grab a bit of gear and they will be more likely to impart a little bit of extra help.
As they say, money is made round to go round so by making a purchase or two, you are making an investment in the local economy which is the lifeblood of many small rural communities. By supporting them, you are also helping your fellow anglers by keeping those fishing tackle outlets in business. That way, they will be there to assist the next person that comes along looking for a bit of local knowledge.
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